Tuesday News: Keurig introduces DRM, self-published authors and 1-star reviews, fair use prevails in Harvard lawsuit, and LinkedIn looks like a media organization
Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have DRM lockdown – Ugh. I love my Keurigs. Yes, that’s right; I own more than one. What a ridiculous, consumer-alienating idea it is to have a DRM-ed machine. Seriously?! For coffee?! Not only does it go against everything that makes Keurig appealing (its diversity and flexibility), but it goes against the spirit of epicurean adventurism. And it’s a total bullshit way to get around the expiration of the K-cup patent.
Green Mountain plans to launch “Keurig 2.0” this fall, a new set of machines that will only interact with Green-Mountain-approved pods. There is no documentation showing how Green Mountain will control this. But if Sony is any precedent, it seems like maintaining control over plastic pods of coffee may be an uphill battle. –Ars Technica
Should You Sue Your eBook Reviewers? – Some of the commentary to Sunita’s post on Amazon reviews reminded me of this piece by Greg Strandberg, who investigates the case of author Joe Nobody, who claims he has lost $23,000 because of a one-star review on his book. If the logic of that conclusion has stumped you, you’re not alone. Strandberg makes a very compelling argument about how Nobody managed to draw a whole lot more attention to the one-star review than anyone else, because his own exchange with the reviewer in the comments resulted in other readers marking the review “helpful.”
So now that one-star review is marked as “most helpful” negative review, Nobody is claiming that the reviewer is the one who cost him money, and other authors are slamming Strandberg because he dared question Nobody’s behavior. This so reminds me of how things were six or seven years ago, when a number of traditionally published authors were complaining about critical reviews, arguing that they were “mean” and “harsh” and inappropriate for genre fiction.
How about that 1-star review? It’s there front and center, which it should be – it’s been labeled by Amazon customers as the most helpful review. The fact that Joe Nobody helped make it that way through ignorance, sheer egotism, and an irrational approach is surly being left out of that $23,000 lawsuit. –Big Sky Words
Harvard Professor Settles Fair-Use Dispute With Record Label – Score another victory for fair use and for EFF, which represented Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig against Liberation Music, an Australian record label. When Liberation threatened to sue Lessig for using a song in one of his lectures, Lessig — an Internet law scholar — sued them instead, and he got them to agree that Lessig’s use of the music was fair use. There were also financial damages, but the amount was not made public.
The record label agreed that Mr. Lessig’s use of the song was fair use, and said it would “amend its copyright and YouTube policy to ensure that mistakes like this will not happen again.” –Chronicle of Higher Education
LinkedIn walks like a publisher and talks like a publisher. But is it? – Here’s a follow-up piece to the news I posted recently that LinkedIn was opening up its publishing space beyond its 500 “influencers.” However, this article argues that LinkedIn is behaving like a company that views itself as a media organization. LinkedIn currently generates revenue from a) premium accounts, b) ads, and c) “tools for recruiters.” One concern about this is that because LinkedIn does not own the content it hosts, it can remain free of liability while still generating profit. A parasitic model of journalism, in other words.
The fact remains that LinkedIn’s “publishing platform” looks more and more like a media property. Dan Roth was slightly less circumspect with Readwrite’s Owen Thomas last week, telling him that LinkedIn hoped to discover its own Nate Silver, the statistician-turned-writer, first for the New York Times and now for ESPN. Lest there be any confusion, the Times and ESPN are media organizations; the publisher of the next Nate Silver is a media organization too. –Fortune/CNN